Buying Guide

How to Choose a Roller Skate Helmet

Before I tell you how to find the perfect roller skating helmet, let me share a little story with you. A girl named Lynn was new to roller skating – she loved anything that had anything to do with fitness and wanted it all right away. When she saw videos of other people on YouTube teaching her how to drop in after only being at it for one day, things didn’t go so well for her.

Do you know what happened? When she stepped off the coping, her foot missed completely. She was thrown backwards onto the transition below, where her back took part of the fall and impacted on the back of her dome when she slammed it onto the concrete.

Her head jerked painfully from the force of his tackle. She had whiplash and felt dazed for minutes afterwards. Would our fictitious Roller Skating Lynn still be alive if she hadn’t been wearing a proper helmet when he tackled her head? That remains to your imagination.

Roller Skating Falls and Injuries Are Common

Roller skates are dangerous because there are always a lot of risks involved. Injuries can occur on the rink and people have already been getting hurt. There was an in-depth study done where they looked at over 200 injuries that happened while people were playing roller hockey and it turns out, over half of them (130) were fractures while the other 72 ended up being soft tissue accidents.

Analysis of the latest statistics reveals that 47% of roller-skating accidents affect the wrist, making it the most vulnerable part. Following close behind are elbow injuries at 14% and ankle injuries are 10%. Even though they’re statistically less likely to happen, Ankle fractures account for 80% of all amputations performed due to these types of accidents – which makes them dangerous after all.

Who Falls Most Often Rollerskating?

After looking at the statistics, it would seem that beginners are more susceptible to falls when they skate. In fact, 77% of all mishaps happen to those who haven’t been skating for very long- mostly because these people don’t know how to avoid them in advance.

However, what seemed like an ordinary day quickly took a turn for the worse. As it turns out, even though veteran roller skaters fell less often than novices did – they had twice as much chance of being taken to surgery than one who just started skating.

That no matter how skilled you may be at skating, there is still a good chance that one day it will result in a bad fall and tons of money spent for treatment. So, stay safe and invest in some knee pads or elbow pads before your next skateboarding lesson.

A study has revealed that female roller skaters are more prone to getting injured than their male counterparts. While men were less likely to be harmed than women, they were nearly three times more likely to need surgery.

One of the most damning discoveries from that study was how an alarming number – around 90% -of skaters went without any sort of protective gear. Consider this for a moment: Only 10% of those who participated in the study opted to wear protection.

More Recent Roller Skating Injury Studies

The study I’m going to mention was conducted a few decades ago. Is there anything that can change how safe of an activity roller skating is today?

A study of 282 roller skating injuries in 1996 showed that there was no significant difference between roller skating and inline skating.

One of the most intriguing findings was that majority of accidents occurred at low speeds. If you believed mishaps would occur only to those who are skating fast, then you would be wrong.

But does it mean you will never get hurt if you wear headgear and pads? No, wearing protective gear does not ensure that one will go unscathed while rollerskating. In fact, 29% of those surveyed said they were wearing such equipment at the time.

So even though it might seem like wearing protective pads and a helmet does nothing for you, the truth is that skaters who wear wristguards actually have less injuries than those without such equipment.

What a 4-year Analysis of Roller Skating Numbers Found

This accounted for 44.61% of the data collected and meant 2.39% less accidents than in 1982 which was still high at 125 fractures, 17% of all wrist fractures reported during those four years.

However, this does not surprise me given that 67% of the injured skaters in the survey did not wear any safety gear. I think it would be wise for parents to teach their children how important it is to always skate with safety gear on when they go out skating.

Another roller skating accident study in Denmark did not find that many discrepancies when compared to other studies. The vast majority of injuries (45%) affects the wrist and metacarpal bones.

Some Roller Skaters Today Don’t Wear Protection

It seems there are always people in the parks or out on the streets who carelessly skateboard without wearing helmets. Haven’t you seen them dropping in?  Why would they risk it when we see pro skaters showing off new tricks on YouTube and they don’t even wear helmets?

Maybe these people are just so skilled, they don’t feel the need to protect themselves with helmets or padding. But there’s clear evidence that even an excellent skater can suffer an awful ending.

Some Skaters Don’t Want to Look Like a Dork

I’m sure you can understand this, everyone wants to come off as intelligent and well-put together. But it doesn’t matter what you look like when you’re in the OR because accidents happen even if we try our best to prevent them from happening.

Few people judge those on the street or at skate parks for wearing helmets. One of the reasons could be because they know how much protection it can provide against injury when doing dangerous activities such as skating where there’s always a chance of falling off your board or getting hit by something else. It also means you’re being responsible and taking care of yourself which is respected from others.

Remember, safety is always the number one priority. Even if you don’t think it will happen to you, concussions are a real thing and can alter your life for good if too many occur. I’ve avoided bad ones so far even after falling plenty of times – but still its always important to stay safe.

What is it Like to Have a Concussion from a Rollerskating Fall?

But I know someone who tumbled over and had their head struck against something hard enough to cause severe injuries. It took them many months before they recovered from the concussion, but for the time being, that person said that all of their motivation seemed to have disappeared.

Aside from their headaches never going away, the person also couldn’t stop sleeping. It was so difficult that they would sleep during the day and stay awake at night, while everybody else slept. Not only this but being awoken in the morning became difficult for them. The hardest part though? They stopped doing something they loved – roller skating – because it had become too risky for them now as well.

Helmets Aren’t Always Sexy, But…

You certainly don’t want to end up like that unlucky skater, do you? Be like the girl I skate with who believes that safety is sexy. She practices what she preaches; wearing some of the sexiest helmets when she skates – they go great with her outfits too! But while fashion matters, it never trumps safety, so make sure your focus always stays there first and foremost.

How to Choose the Right Roller Skating Helmet

It is important to consider several factors when choosing a roller skate helmet. Below you will find all of my findings from my research.

1. Helmet Fit, Size, Comfort, and Shape

Helmet Fit, Size, Comfort, and Shape

A perfect fit is the most important consideration when choosing a helmet. When I choose my new lid, I want to make sure that it fits just right and isn’t too tight or too loose on my head because this could lead to significant injury if helmets are incorrectly fitted. However, this isn’t always easy because not all models come in different sizes so you need to use an accurate sizing chart specific for each model of helmet you’re considering purchasing.

Helmet makers don’t always offer their helmets in the same size ranges. One helmet manufacturer’s medium-sized product could be another company’s small or large. Reading detailed product reviews can make it easier to find out how the hat will fit on your head, whether it tends to run either large or small. You’ll also want to know if it has a more rounded shape, an oval shape, or something somewhere between those two shapes.

Helmet Shape

Some helmets brands such as Protec have a rounder shape for some heads. But if you wear one and you have an oval head, it might not work out so well because there will be awkward gaps on the side of your head. And also, a round helmet might leave pressure points at the back or front since it’ll probably be very tight around those parts of your head.

Other helmets such as Triple Eight helmets provide an oval-round shape while others offer a more round or oval fit- this is where most American heads live. If the one you choose doesn’t match up with your own head shape, it’ll make it hard for it to stay on properly.

If a helmet for skating fits correctly, it lays comfortably on top of your head without moving too much up and down or from left to right. A well-fitted skate helmet should not fly off at the first sign of danger

Dome-shaped and Performance Roller Skate Helmets

A majority of helmet styles for roller skating are dome-shaped and come in half shell varieties. They’re also called skate style helmets, commuter helmets, city or urban helmets, and compact models.

Skateboarders use performance-style helmets that focus more on aerodynamic qualities and ventilation than protection – but they’re still protective. These kinds of helmets are intended for skaters who are fairly skilled at skating, meaning they don’t expect to fall often – but if it does happen, then this helmet will protect them adequately.

2. Features and Specs

The Outer Shell (Offers Basic Protection)

Roller skate helmets are high-impact helmets thanks to the ABS plastic/EPS outer shell. The density in the shell material varies from helmet model to model. Most models use a light and less dense version because we don’t want to wear an uncomfortable heavy helmet that would kill our necks while skating!

This shell is made for absorbing small impacts, but will expand if subjected to a large one. The EPS outer layer provides some protection, while the inner EPP foam does most of the work.

Inner Protective Layer (Built to Protect Heads)
Most helmets are made up of an inner layer of crushable foam called EPS or Expanded Polystyrene. When one falls or slams into something, such as a car, the EPS absorbs impact energies that would otherwise hit the skull and cause injury.

Helmets are made out of either EPS or EPP for the main purpose of protecting the head from impact. What does this mean? Well, it means that these two materials are designed to absorb shock when there is an impact.

EPS Foam Helmets vs. EPP Foam Skate Helmets
What’s the difference between an EPP foam helmet and an EPS foam helmet? The main difference is that an EPS foam liner helmet is a one-time use item. Once you’ve fallen while wearing a lid with an EPS liner, it gets crushed up and will lose almost all of its protective abilities. That is, EPS foam doesn’t do well when it comes to absorbing repetitive impacts.

In contrast, an EPP foam helmet can be used after a hit in some cases because it’s a multi-impact performance lid. The lining inside this type of helmet doesn’t permanently deform under impact energies. Some POC bike helmets are multi-impact helmets. Almost all the roller skate helmets on the market today are single-use crushable foam liner helmets.

Fit Pads/Padding
Many helmet companies offer two types of pads so that you can tailor the fit how you please. For example, if your new skateboard helmet doesn’t quite feel right yet, all you need to do is replace the thin foam padding with thicker foam padding. Or vice versa; if it feels too tight with thick foam pad replacements, just swap them out for thinner ones! Triple Eight helmets boast an easier-to-work-with replacement pad system compared to most other brands.

These pads usually attach to the inside of helmets through Velcro for a better fit. In addition, they may absorb sweat and provide added comfort.

Chinstraps
When choosing a helmet for biking, it’s important to make sure that the straps are strong and durable. They should also be able to grip your chin without causing discomfort, and remain in place once secured. Above all else, choose helmets with sturdy straps so you don’t find yourself without head protection when it matters most.

Also, make sure the strap is working properly. Can you easily use and readjust it to find a better fit? You want adjustable straps that will work well in case you might need more or less slack at some point.

Fit Adjustment Dial
Some one-size-fits-all roller skate helmets have a knob-like dial at the back. This fit dial enables you to adjust the helmet for a more comfortable fit.

3. Skate Helmet Safety Certifications and Standards

Can you wear a bike helmet while roller skating? Yes, so long as it has the right design and offers adequate coverage.

In order to purchase a helmet with both certifications you should look for an ASTM 1492 certification on top of the CPSC one.

In most cases, roller skate helmets are dual-certified. Usually these helmets offer both the CPSC bike standards and ASTMF1492 skate standards. Make sure you check your helmet when it arrives so you can find out which one is certified for what. You should see a sticker on the straps or inside of the helmet stating its safety certifications.

What about the EN 1078 safety certification? This is an EU-focused safety standard that parallels the CPSC standard. But a skate helmet that meets CPSC safety standards offers slightly better protection because it was created according to more stringent safety requirements.

4. Helmet Technologies

Helmet Technologies

As long as a roller skate helmet has a functional EPS liner/EPP liner and it’s properly certified, it’s good. However, there are other new technologies to keep an eye on. One such helmet tech is the now famous MIPS technology. Short for Multi-Directional Protection System, this system offers protection in all directions of impact–left, right, up and down.

This protection technology operates through the helmet making various rotational movements against the head. Helmets containing MIPS typically cost more than their counterparts without it. You probably don’t need protection from angular impacts, but if these features give you peace of mind then it would be worth investing in this techology.

There are also SPIN and WaveCel technologies. Unlike MIPS technology which tackles only rotational impacts, SPIN and WaveCel work on all types of impact for maximum protection.

WaveCel has a collapsible cellular structure which does the protection job by creating what’s called crumpled zones. This means it absorbs rotational forces in addition to absorbing other impact energies.

SPIN is like MIPS, but it relies on silicon-rich pads that can expand and contract in more than one direction. It was originally created to make cars safer by absorbing collisions from all angles.

A roller skating helmet that offers basic EPS foam protection will do just fine. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be in stores if they weren’t worth it, right?

5. Roller Skate Helmet Weight

You want a stylish, functional and protective helmet for skating that will not put such heavy pressure on your neck. Unless you plan to wear the helmet all day, if it makes your neck uncomfortable then chances are you won’t wear it at all. You don’t need an overbearing roller skate helmet sacrificing its protection just because of style.

6. Helmet Maintenance

Ask yourself how easy it would be to clean this helmet? You want a helmet that’s easy to maintain – something with an easily removable lining for easy washing of sweat and dirt accumulated during all of your gear-heavy activities. Cleaning straps and buckles are also important features; you never know when they’ll come in handy!

7. Price and Brand

Roller skate helmets are available in all shapes and sizes, but they differ significantly in quality. You might be able to find an inexpensive one, but this is risky when you’re trying to protect your head from injury. Roller skates vary significantly in type; some people may want a basic helmet while others might need something more specialized for downhill skating. Just keep that in mind when shopping around – you’ll likely pay anywhere from fifty dollars up to about two hundred dollars for the most expensive one depending on what it is you need it for.

Protec, Triple 8, and S 1 are three major helmet brands while lesser-known ones such as Thousand, TSG, Bern, Bell, and Smith can still provide protection.

Protec Helmets are most noted for their protective qualities as well as their rounder shape. Triple 8 helmets, on the other hand, don’t provide the same level of protection and are more oval-shaped whereas Bern Helmets come equipped with features such as an injection molded design, fit dial operated system, and ultra lightweight construction which makes them ideal for snowboarders.

In the end, though, you’re going to need to purchase and utilize a roller skate helmet from whatever company so that you can decide if it fits or functions well enough for your needs.

Roller Skate Helmet FAQs

Do I Have to Wear a Roller Skate Roller Skating?

A U.S. federal law does not require people who rollerskate to wear a helmet, but there are many statistics over the past few years suggesting that it would be wise for them to do so anyway. There is no way of telling whether or not wearing a helmet will completely prevent concussions, but they are useful at reducing skull fractures and severe brain injuries which occur when someone is rolling around on their head after falling off their skateboard. Many roller rinks require people to put on a helmet while they’re practicing as well because sometimes they fall off anyways.

Can I Use a Cycling Helmet for Roller Skating?

Yes, if you like the style of a particular bike helmet and it fits perfectly, there’s no reason not to use it. I have even seen some roller skaters who wear them too but only after making sure they are certified.

Some other helmets you could use for roller skating include wakeboarding and snowboarding helmets, as well as hockey helmets. If the helmet in question offers a similar profile to a typical skateboard helmet while also offering adequate protection around the back of your head – then you could wear it when Roller Skating.

How Can I Tell If My Roller Skating Helmet Fits Well?

A roller skate helmet should feel snug and comfortable without feeling too tight or restrictive. Make sure the helmet doesn’t shift when it rubs against your skin, nor can you easily slip out of the straps by pushing them sideways, up to the nose/chin area, or down to the neck/back. A properly fitted helmet won’t have any pressure points either, nor will there be enough room for more than two fingers between the chin strap and your skin while wearing one.

Should I Always Replace My Helmet After an Impact?

Replacing your roller-skating helmet after a hit or two is always a good idea because it decreases the structural integrity of the inner Styrofoam liner and makes it less able to protect you from serious injury.

How Long Do Skating Helmets Last?

A helmet typically lasts 5-10 years according to CPSC guidelines. This time period will vary depending on how the wearer uses, cares for, and stores their helmet.

When Should I Replace My Roller Skating Helmet?

Replace your helmet if the outer shell starts to wear out from age, or if there are visible cracks in the inner liner. If the interior is marked and looks somewhat crushed, it’s time for a new one. Inspect the straps too; they should be tightly fastened but not so tight that they cut off circulation around your head. When replacing helmets, make sure you’re buying a new one with improved technology – this will mean less fragility and greater protection.

About the author

Branden

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